The Little Stranger – Robert G. Wertzler

You might meet him, a small person.

You might at first think him a child.

But, then, no, not young.

His age is hard to tell.

And he’ll look at you with eyes both innocent and wise and ask a question.

It’s the kind of why or how question a child can ask, or a Zen master.

One about something so ordinary, so habitual, that you find it hard to answer.

He’ll wait, hopefully, watching you try to find a good answer.

You’ll say something that likely feels inadequate.

He might say, “Hmm.” and go on his way.

Or, he might ask another version of it, or want you to say more.

He might laugh with the musical abandon of a child playing Peek-A-Boo.

He might take a serious look, a pondering look, and wander off.

And there you will be with that question, his gift or his curse.

And it will stay with you.

You might begin to question things you never questioned before.

Or that you haven’t since you were very young.

The ones that got the “Just because.” kind of answers.

You will wonder who, or what, he is.

Is he angel, devil, fairy, Leprechaun, wizard, alien spy from space,

or one of the trickster gods of legend?

Whatever you guess, you will never forget meeting The Little Stranger.

Photo by Kamran Ch on Unsplash


Bob Wertzler is retired from almost twenty years in the mental health field in California and Arizona. There are times the title, “Recovering Therapist”, seems to fit. In 2006 he retired to move to Western North Carolina to help and become primary care giver for his father who had developed Dementia. Before all that, there was work at various times as a soldier (US Army 1967-70), community organizer, cab driver, welfare case worker, wooden toy maker, carpenter, warehouse worker, and other things. He relates to a line in a Grateful Dead song, “What a long, strange trip its been.”

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